More and more often, we’re hearing that connected data is central to the future of manufacturing. Due to recent challenges of supply chain issues, unstable consumer demand and fluctuating labor shortages, manufacturers are under pressure to be more adaptable and agile through digital transformation. Companies can avoid disruptive roadblocks and find growth opportunities by taking advantage of broad-based data collection. While any progress in going digital helps, some noteworthy benefits arise from having access to the connected data of a digital factory.
Following are five benefits of a digital factory:
- Faster time to market
While manufacturers focus on the product lifecycle, there is also a factory lifecycle that needs to be optimized for best productivity. Going digital provides automation and a connected ecosystem to speed things up. Manufacturers can leverage insights for a faster design and engineering process. They can run through possible solutions and make rapid decisions. Studies have shown that the most digitally advanced manufacturing companies can increase their speed to market by nearly 90%.
- Greater efficiency
The design of a digital factory aims to integrate every aspect of manufacturing—from shop floor, building and infrastructure to suppliers/vendors and stakeholders—creating a connected data flow. The entire operation can be automated, predictable and intelligent for maximum efficiency. With a digital factory, owners can test out alternatives to more efficient methods of production.
Digital factories automate processes, eliminate redundant activities and consolidate workflows in support of lean operations, lowering costs and focusing the workforce on profitable activities.
Factory Design Utilities in the Autodesk Product Design Collection help develop a digital factory model. Contact Applied Software today for more info about starting or optimizing your digital factory process.
With a digital factory, a company can be more responsive to economic, labor and supply chain issues. Flexible manufacturing makes companies more resourceful. They can find alternative solutions, make modifications, change course, and adapt faster to new circumstances. When they have a more flexible model, companies can react to disruptions by inventing solutions for new revenue streams.
- Accommodating changing demands
Manufacturing creates goods for consumers, and consumer tastes are changing. In contrast to the purpose behind mass production, customization is rapidly becoming a necessary capability for manufacturers. Consumers have shown they are willing to pay more for products made especially for them.
Manufacturers can meet the growing demand for customization when they have a digital factory. Small batch runs or adding features to an existing product can be accommodated more easily. A product like ProModel can help ensure changes are smooth when they’re made. The ability to satisfy unique customer needs is a definite competitive advantage.
For companies with goals for a net-zero carbon footprint, a digital factory provides the data-driven insights needed for working toward sustainability goals and green policies. Following are examples of technology solutions that make it easier for a digital factory to achieve sustainable operations:
- digital twins with real-time insights for more sustainable choices.
- generative design for finding environmentally friendly options for a factory and its infrastructure.
- artificial intelligence and automation to track energy use within a space.
For faster time to market, efficiency, agility, meeting changing consumer needs, and sustainability, the connected data of a digital factory is central to the future of manufacturing.